I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

24 October 2012

Out Walking

As I come down the hill,
the dog I talk to barks
but not at me.

A man in the yellow shirt
of a Council worker
strides through the gate

followed by three or four
schoolgirls in grey skirts
and sky-blue tops, shapeless.

He enters the house.
They cluster on the veranda.
I'm too far away for details

but then they run
squealing and giggling
through the side gate

to the next yard
with the trampoline,
and they bounce.

In the doorway
of the house of the dog,
a young girl stands.

She is wearing a grey skirt 
and a sky-blue top, shapeless.
She lingers, staring out.

When I return that way
fifteen minutes later,
there is no-one at all —

only my friend the dog
waits for me to reach 
through the slats of the fence. 

I scratch behind his silky ears.
When I leave, he gives for his people
a pretend guard-dog bark.

Submitted for dVerse OpenLinkNight #67


  1. ha. th guard dog bark at the end made me grin...i love people watching as well so this tickled that spot for me...i'd be making up stories about them the rest of the day...

  2. I love the idea of a neighbor dog that you visit.

  3. So vivid... lovely scene painted here.

  4. I kept hoping nothing bad was going to happen, just a bounce through a scene full of color and sound, all is well.

  5. With detail and insight, you share the essentials of the scene and allow your reader to intuit the rest. This is smart writing.

  6. ha...love that pretend guard-dog bark!

  7. Thanks, friends. It was a 'small stone' (a polished moment of paying attention) that grew!

  8. Very nice. I am familiar with that 'pretend guard dog bark.' As is said, the bark is often worse than the bite.

  9. The happiness in others is so well described here by the girls giggling and squealing.
    The pretend dog bark at the end really made me smile. :)

  10. i like how you capture the scene here...a fleeting moment penned to paper...like a movie scene snapshot...almost a bit surreal as well with the shapeless

  11. "pretend guard dog" ! had me smiling

  12. Rosemary, what a lovely poem--I could see everyone, and the pretend guard dog bark--great! Made me laugh. Love those silky ears too :-)

  13. Dogs, council men, school girls pulling pranks, a woman walking..peace time exercises. Fear seems far away and yet a closer look might reveal a lot more. Perhaps this is symbolic of a world where normalcy seems to reside, but in the interior of hearts and minds, a good guard dog is warranted.

    1. Well, I think the man was the father of the girl in the doorway, and that he forbade her to go and play with the others. He probably said, 'Homework first!' But I wanted to stay with external description.

  14. I believe in spirits and I believe dogs and accepting humans can see and welcome them. A timely and engrossing write. Well done.

  15. He's getting his bone under false pretenses!

  16. As often there are activities of neighbors tend to impinge on us. We can offer help but otherwise we don't bother them. But a guard dog is reassuring! Nicely Rosemary!